The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a text book. If you're new to Project Management, I recommend that you start elsewhere. However, if you've been involved in projects or find yourself in the lucky position of being a Project Manager, this book provides some valuable ideas about how to improve your project -- or at least cope with inevitabilities.
If you enjoy this book, also look at "The Goal" by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox, and also "Zapp: The Lightening of Improvement" by William Byham.
I enjoyed skimming through this book and tend to agree with most of the points the author makes. However, as a veteran Project Manager, I think the book will be misleading to a novice and most of it better be old hat to one with any real experience. The target audience should be managers of Project Managers and their managers, and customers of Project Management efforts. But they won't like it, as it either ignores them, or disparages them. This is a real weakness. The core knowledge imparted, for professionals in PM, is better addressed in books like The Mythical Man Month and The Psychology of Computer Programming, among others.
The author embeds his instruction in a modern Fairy Tale that is breezy and entertaining, and superficial. The plot structure is really just a tongue in cheek device, bordering on facetious, to set up some straw men the author uses to get his points across, which is OK. The underlying message is a dismissal and distrust of the received wisdom of methodologies and systems of Project Management and the management of organizations, in favor of a loosely described team based approach supported by rigorous design. Not a bad perspective to work from, and fresher when the book came out, but never as all encompassing a panacea as the author makes it. The book does not use any data or analysis, cites no research, and springs its points on the reader without context or history or references to other writers. Counter examples, or other perspectives, are "out of scope", except as contrivances to support the author's views. Within this framework, the author derives a number of assertions; he calls them lessons, and uses his plot structure to give them the weight of natural laws.
The author is, in my experience, correct in his lessons. The book will make any experienced PM feel good, or maybe self righteous, and may make crusaders out of novices. Again though, while it has some valuable points, it is so limited in perspective and lacking in grounded context, that it may actually be misleading as a guide to action. Read it if you have time, keep its lessons in mind, but move on to more rigorous works.
Tom DeMarco manages to squeeze a tremendous amount or project management advice into this 300 page novel. I was hooked by the end of the first chapter. This is a great read for anyone who is tired of reading management handbooks or software development manuals, but still wants to stay in the same area, like a lawyer reading the new Grisham novel. It's a perfect book for nightime or airplane reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Owned it already once, bought an additional electronic copy
It has the same feel as the Richest Man in Babylon.
I really enjoyed it -- and it has held up pretty well over the test of time.Read more